Upcoming Events

2018 IA Literati – 14th Annual
May 12, 2018, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Casa Italia, Florentine Room
1621 N. 39th Avenue, Stone Park, IL 60165

Join Suzanne Ross at this Celebration of Italian American Authors and publications from the Chicago Area. The event is in a seminar format with authors presenting Works in Progress as well as Book Sales, Signings, Raffles, Give Aways. RSVP by calling 708-345-5933 Ext. 2 or click here.

Theology and Peace 2018 Conference – May 21 – 24
“Accepting The Invitation To The Beloved Community”
American Baptist College, Nashville, Tennessee

To commemorate the Fiftieth Anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., American Baptist College presents the Eleventh Annual Conference of Theology & Peace. Dr. King presented an inspiring vision of the Beloved Community as the aftermath of fear, division, and violence, a vision for which he gave his life. At this point in our history, we are presented with a choice between violence or peacemaking, curses or blessings, chaos or community, rivalry or reconciliation, a way that leads to death or one that leads to life. We are once again invited to incarnate Dr. King’s dream by healing our divisions, by affirming our common identity as children of God, and by living into the Beloved Community.


DR. FORREST E. HARRIS, SR., President of American Baptist College  Twenty-eight years in theological education and as Director of Black Church Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, Professor Forrest E. Harris has become nationally recognized as being one of the most progressive scholars, theological educators and visionary for prophetic Christianity in the Black Church tradition. Harris holds a B.A. from Knoxville College, Th.B. from American Baptist College, M. Div. and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Vanderbilt University Divinity School where he was a Benjamin E. Mays Fellow and received the Florence Conwell prize for preaching. Harris is accredited with the distinction of making a significant contribution to the academy and the church by bridging academic theology with the practical ministry needs of the church.

Dr. Harris has published three books: What Does It Mean To Be Black and Christian: The Pulpit, Pew and the Academy in Dialogue (Townsend Press); and Ministry for Social Crisis: Theology and Praxis in the Black Church Tradition (Mercer University Press), and What Does It Mean To Be Black and Christian: The Meaning of the African American Church.

THE REV. THEE SMITH PH.D., Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Emory University Thee’s expertise includes diversity training, interfaith conflict resolution, and human rights advocacy. As an African-American he maintains an activist commitment to economic equity for all people and advanced democracy in the U.S. and abroad. Thee Smith’s award-winning 1994 book, Conjuring Culture: Biblical Formations of Black Americaspans the fields of religion and theological studies, African-American spirituality and violence studies. Also in 1994 he co-edited the multi-authored book, Curing Violence.

BECCA STEVENS, Founder of Thistle Farms Becca is an author, speaker, priest, social entrepreneur, founder and president of Thistle Farms. After experiencing the death of her father and subsequent child abuse when she was 5, Becca longed to open a sanctuary for survivors offering a loving community. In 1997, five women who had experienced trafficking, violence, and addiction were welcomed home.

Register today!

AstonRep’s The Laramie Project
Matinee and Post-show Discussion
Sunday, June 10
The West Stage @ The Raven Theatre Complex
6157 N. Clark     Chicago, IL 60660

The Laramie Project presents a deeply complex portrait of a community’s response to the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man living in Laramie, Wyoming. In a series of poignant reflections, the residents of Laramie react to the hate crime and surrounding media storm with anger, bewilderment and sorrow. The play portrays the seismic and deeply personal impact Matthew’s death had on this small town while also demonstrating the power of the human spirit to triumph over bigotry and violence. As we near the twentieth anniversary, Matthew Shepard’s story still reverberates, urging us on with its clarion call to confront the destructive power of bullying and hate, in all forms.

Join Suzanne Ross for a post-show discussion of this important and relevant play. Purchase your ticket today.

Colloquium on Violence and Religion Annual Meeting
“Religion, Politics, & Violence ‘after’ Truth”
July 11-14
Regis University in Denver, Colorado

Conference Contact: Stephen McKenna, Ph.D., Associate Professor & Chair, Department of Media & Communication Studies.

“After Truth” immediately suggests the supposedly “post-factual” cultural moment, having particular resonance with recent anxieties over “fake news,” “alternative facts,” and other pathologies of the contemporary political sphere.  Yet “After Truth” also indicates “the pursuit of truth,” and it prompts us to think about where we are and who(se) we become both when truth is obscured and after it is disclosed.  Truth, deception, and indifference to truth are foundational concerns of René Girard’s Mimetic Theory, and the moment is apt to revisit them.  The 2018 meeting of The Colloquium on Violence & Religion invites scholars and practitioners to share research and experience related to this theme, engaging with Mimetic Theory across the disciplines.  Our aim is a fruitful exchange of ideas exploring, developing, critiquing, and applying Girard’s Mimetic Theory in relation to this pressing contemporary matter.

The plenary speakers represent a cross-section of Philosophy, Culture, Religion, and Literature – Paul Dumouchel, Laura Kipnis, Jack Miles, and Kevin F. Burke, S.J.